Beets are a tricky dish for a dinner party, considering that more than a few plates come back to the kitchen barely touched. Too bad for those guests, I say. There is a great restaurant on Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina, called the Obstinate Daughter. They serve their roasted beets over whipped ricotta cheese. It is a great dish, but I have changed it a bit — with feta — to give it more of a punch!
- 24 red beets (you can mix red and yellow, but cook separately because the yellow will be overtaken, so it’s a lot of extra work for an extra splash of color)
- Two oranges
- Fresh thyme leaves
- Olive oil 1/4 cup for the roasting of the beets, 3/4 cup for the whipped feta
- 1/2 pound of feta cheese in brine
- 3 ounces of cream cheese
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup of ricotta
- Juice of 2 lemons
- Two cups of mustard micro-greens (or the micro-green of your choice)
- 1/2 cup of chopped pistachio nuts
- 3 thinly sliced red hot chili peppers
- Sherry wine vinegar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Prepare the beets
- Cut off the tops and bottoms of the beets, peel and slice into 3/4 inch cubes, or roast first let cool then peel–this keeps your hands from turning red for a week
- Tear out a big sheet of tinfoil and cover the bottom of the oval baking dish and leave enough to be able to completely cover the top, toss the beets into the lined dish, grate the orange rind over the beets, squeeze the juice of both oranges over the beets, then toss in the oranges after quartering them, add 2 tablespoons of chopped thyme leaves, drizzle two tablespoons of olive oil on top, salt and pepper then mix all together and cover lightly with tinfoil
- Make the whipped feta
- Crumble the feta into the food processor fitted with a steel blade, the add the ricotta, sour cream and cream cheese, add the 3/4 cup of olive oil and the juice of three lemons, pulse until fully incorporated, set aside
- Slice the sliced hot peppers and steep them in red wine vinegar for an hour
- Set the oven to 400 degrees, with the rack in the middle, roast the beats for an hour. Test with fork starting at 45 minutes and then every 10 minutes after. You want them to be firm, but not hard. Remove from oven when and put the beets in mixing bowl with the beet juice. Add 2 tablespoons of sherry vinegar and 1/2 cup orange juice at room temperature. Salt and pepper to taste. Mix and refrigerate after the beets rest for 10 minutes. Let sit for 3 hours to chill.
- Assemble the plate by circling the serving dish with whipped feta before placing the beets in the middle.
- Take the mustard greens and mix with two tablespoons of sherry vinegar. Sprinkle on top. Add chopped pistachios and ‘pickled’ hot red peppers. You can replace the peppers with thinly-sliced red onions that have been sitting in red wine vinegar for an hour.